It’s Just a Party: Three Tips for a Financially Responsible Wedding

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If you had to guess, what would you think is the number one cause for fights among married couples? Your mind might gravitate toward the obvious: infidelity, child rearing, different lifestyles, cleanliness, extended family, and more. The list goes on.

But the cold hard truth is that the culprit is most often cold hard cash. Money consistently takes the top spot when it comes to marital fights. Moreover, those financial troubles often begin before the marriage license has even been signed. The reason is pretty simple: Weddings are expensive. Ridiculously expensive, in fact. In some cases, weddings can cost as much as a down payment on a home! Everything from the dress to the cake to the food being served at the reception is significantly marked up, so much so that in some cases young couples who haven’t even yet started their lives together are digging themselves a financial hole that could take years to recover from.

As we hit peak wedding season, follow these three pieces of advice for a financially responsible wedding, and try and remember – it’s only a party!

Consider an Alternative Ring

From the dress and accessories to the food and entertainment, there is no law that says a wedding needs to follow a specific set of rules or guidelines. Particularly, there’s one major expense where something less traditional should seriously be considered, especially if you’re interested in saving money. Many Millennial couples are steering clear of expensive diamonds that do not retain their value and opting for non-traditional rings. It’s a smart idea considering the average American spends more than $6,000 on an engagement ring.

“We’ve seen a significant spike in engagement ring sales that feature pearls,” said Leon Rbibo of Laguna Pearl. “Not only are they more cost effective, but they’re timeless and classic – it’s really a wedding staple given how popular they’ve become over the years. Pearls also happen to be the official birthstone for June, so take note for those early summer weddings.”

And it’s not just pearls you should consider. Modern brides are flocking to rubies, sapphires, and emeralds. Find something that works for you and your style and save a ton of money while you’re at it.


The wedding tax. It’s a real thing, and it’s likely to cost you a lot of money when it comes time to plan a wedding if you aren’t mindful of it.

A study completed a couple of years back indicated that vendors hike their prices by 28 percent on average when they are providing services for a wedding. That’s 28 percent less money that could be designated for the purchase of a new home, a retirement account, a rainy day fund, and more. The good news? These wedding vendors have openly admitted they are willing to negotiate. The same study said wedding vendors are willing to offer money-saving suggestions if couples simply ask, so do your wallet a favor and start haggling.

Select Your Venue Carefully

A hotel is a beautiful place to have a wedding. What’s grander than a ballroom, after all? But proceed with caution; your venue selection can directly determine how much money you need to spend on added décor. A sparse hotel ballroom requires a bit of, shall we say, sprucing up. That could mean candles, flowers, votives, centerpieces, additional lighting, and more. Translation: Ca-ching! Most couples end up spending between $2,500 and $10,500 on the venue alone.

When considering a venue, there’s something to be said for natural beauty. A reception at a sculpture garden, arboretum, farm, beach, or lake can end up saving you serious money. The natural beauty of the landscape is more than adequate, and you’ll find you won’t need much of the traditional décor that often goes hand-in-hand with a wedding reception and ceremony.

The point of all of these tips? Saving money. Every couple wants to start their marriage out on the right foot, and a great way to do that is by not putting yourself in a financial hole at the very onset of the relationship. Think carefully about what you need at your wedding and what you want at your wedding. The two are not one in the same.

And remember, at the end of the day a wedding is about you and the one you love. Nobody will remember the centerpieces or the types of cocktails served. Everyone will remember your commitment to one another.



Olivia is psychologist and entrepreneur from Brisbane. Mother of two beautiful children and proud owner of two silly boxer dogs. She is passionate writer, a traveler and conscious consumer, seeking healthy and sustainable products to incorporate into the lives of her family. Her motto is “Be the change you want to see in the world”.

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